10 Yoga poses to relieve back pain during pregnancy

By Megha Pandey

Dec 11, 2022

Back pain is a common during Pregnancy, almost all the women experience back pain during this time. It can start from the 2nd Trimester and might continue till after the birth, they may experience back pain in the lower back, buttocks, thighs and legs. Women with pre- existing back pain are typically at a higher risk to develop pregnancy related back pain. The anatomic and postural changes during pregnancy can be very challenging for the female body as the ligaments become softer and stretch to prepare the body for labor and birth, so the pain in lumbar spine (lower back) and posterior pelvic region (back of the pelvic) is most common during pregnancy.

How can Yoga help during Pregnancy

Flexibility & strength 

Yoga can help in increasing flexibility during pregnancy, it strengthens the abdominal muscles which support the uterus and baby for nine months, helps in strengthening the spine and muscles of the back which are put under a lot of stress during pregnancy. Yoga improves posture and helps to correct any postural defects that can come from pregnancy, such as the excessive curvature of the lower back. It also strengthens the pelvic floor muscles while making them flexible, which is  necessary for holding the uterus in place. 

Improves oxygen levels 

Practicing yoga helps in increasing oxygen level for both the mother and the baby, and helps the woman to gain more control over her respiratory system which can be helpful during labor.  Yoga practice can help to strengthen chest muscles, expand lung capacity, and increase oxygen intake. Yoga helps improve your breathing and oxygen intake. Yoga is also known to improve blood circulation and strengthen  the heart.

Immunity & blood pressure 

Yoga can improve immunity and regulate blood pressure. By preventing and relieving fluid retention, yoga can prevent leg cramps and varicose veins. It also helps to keep the digestive system functioning well. It increases energy levels and helps to calm the nervous system.

Balance & Stability 

It is also very helpful to open the chest and create more space, especially in the last trimester when the uterus can press strongly, making breathing more difficult. As the pregnancy progresses, the mother’s center of gravity changes, during such a time practice of yoga can help in improving balance and stability which is very important.

Yoga creates a bond and connection between the mother and child while creating positive feelings of love, compassion, appreciation, gratitude and peace and encourages women to honor themselves and enjoy the special time of pregnancy.

Things to keep in mind before starting Prenatal Yoga practice

You should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider before practicing any kind of exercise or yoga during pregnancy and always practice it under the guidance of a good teacher or a prenatal yoga specialist . One must remember to set realistic goals, and don’t compare yourself to what you were able to do  when you were not pregnant. Be gentle with yourself, don’t overdo it and practice in moderation. Be especially careful when practicing after the 6th month and the belly has gotten bigger. Always make sure to stay hydrated and practice in a well ventilated room and remember, every woman’s pregnancy is different so don’t compare yourself to others.

Yoga Asanas that can help with back pain during Pregnancy

Anantasana (Lord Vishnu Pose) Type 2 & 4

This asana helps to strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen and the lower back, giving a nice stretch to the neck. It opens the pelvic region and removes pressure that can build up in the pelvis during this time. Types 2 and 4 in particular are helpful when there is pain in the lower back, especially from nerve compression which can be common during pregnancy. Anantasana Type 2 is especially helpful to maintain for longer periods of time.

Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose) Type 1

Ardha Chakrasana strengthens and tones the pelvic, hip and buttock region plus the calves, thighs, lower back, abdomen and ankles. It reduces lower back pain, strengthens spine and helps to realign the spine, which can be beneficial if there is sciatica.

Kandharasana or Setu Bandhasana (Shoulder pose or bridge pose)

This pose strengthens and tones the pelvic, hip, abdomen, lower back and buttock region. The shoulder pose Opens up the chest which is especially useful during breastfeeding. It helps in reducing lower back pain, strengthens spine and helps to realign the spine, which can be beneficial if there is sciatica. Setu Bandhasana stretches the abdominal region gently which can help in digestive problems such as constipation, it can also help to turn a breech baby.

Matsya Kreedasan (Flapping Fish Pose)

This yoga asana provides a full body relaxation. This asana is as close as a pregnant woman can get to resting on her belly and may be the natural position that she sleeps in. It is a good alternative to savasana, when lying on the back is uncomfortable. Yog nidra can also be practiced in this position. It also helps to relieve back pain, particularly sciatica, brings the respiration and heart rate to normal and decreases high blood pressure.

Ardha Pawanmuktasana

Helps in relieving the trapped gasses which can increase during pregnancy when digestion is not always as efficient, helps in increasing blood to all the internal organs which in turn benefits the baby. Ardha Pawanmuktasana is also helpful in relieving constipation. It strengthens the lower back muscles and loosens the spinal vertebrae and is helpful for relieving back pain.

Chakki Chalan (Grinding the Mill)

The Chakki Chalan asana helps to strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles, creates space in the pelvic region and loosens the area. It also helps to open the hips and gives a nice stretch to the inner thighs and legs.

Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

The Cat pose helps to increase the flexibility of the whole spine, relieves back pain. It also helps in opening the pelvic region, chest region and upper back. It can also be a helpful position during labor and for birth.

Kati Chakrasana (Waist rotating pose)

Kati Chakrasana is great for relieving tension in the spine and back. It opens the chest and improves flexibility in the spine. Also helpful in improving digestion and can help relieve constipation, strengthens the legs and knees and creates lightness in the body.

Shashankasana (Child pose)

Shashankasana helps in opening the pelvic region and hips, removes tension and pain in the lower back. It also helps to realign the spine, creating space around the belly. It is very soothing and energizing and helps to relieve nausea for some women.

Parighasana (Gate Pose)

This gives a good lateral stretch to the pelvic region and trunk, it also helps relieve rib pain and pressure of the baby. Parighasana is very helpful in relieving stiffness and pain in the back, strengthens and loosens the shoulders.

Other Yoga Practices that help during Pregnancy


Breathing exercises like Basic abdominal breathing, Yogic breathing, Anulom Vilom, Bhramari, Ujjayi breathing, Sheetali, Sitka

Mantra chanting

Mantras like Om, Gayatri mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya mantra etc. are very beneficial for both mother and baby during pregnancy, as well as afterwards. It creates positive, calming vibrations, improves focus and concentration, removes stress and tension and creates a positive environment 

Meditation and Visualisation

They can help remove fears and worries, connect with the baby, relax and understand oneself more deeply improving overall wellness and calmness of mind.

Relaxation practices

Practices like Yog nidra can be of great help to remove stress, anxiety, negative thoughts and can help relax the mother physically, mentally and emotionally.

Yoga helps with overall relaxation and stress management, and emotional wellbeing which is really necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga creates positive feelings of love, compassion, appreciation, gratitude and peace and encourages women to honor themselves and enjoy the special time of pregnancy.

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